OIC, France cooperate to preserve cultural heritage

:: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in partnership with France, on Sunday organized its first joint colloquium on the preservation of cultural heritage in OIC member countries.

The two-day meeting included experts from OIC, Saudi and UN cultural institutions, as well as representatives of OIC member countries.

The meeting was opened by Hesham Youssef, OIC assistant secretary-general, who said it will shed light on the need to protect cultural treasures in the Islamic world, and will call for developing cultural and educational programs to achieve this.

He added that the OIC is keen to play a more proactive role in protecting and preserving Islamic cultural heritage.

The colloquium aims to ensure that OIC member states review the rules and regulations related to conservation, restoration and restitution of cultural heritage, and to make sure they are in line with international legal instruments.

It also aims to conduct studies, educational and training programs and cultural exhibitions for the protection of cultural heritage as a key security and peace-building factor in the Islamic world.

Patrick Nicoloso, the consul general of France and special envoy to the OIC, said although France is not an OIC member, it has a historical relationship with it. Preserving cultural heritage is “very important in the world as a whole and in OIC member states,” he added.

“It is very important… to preserve the memory of the people as part of their culture. Always remember your past, your culture and keep it alive.”

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